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Reasons for Waking Up at Night

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Reasons for Waking Up at Night

Who doesn’t crave for 8-hours of uninterrupted sleep every single night? In fact, according to the latest studies, long and restful sleep is not only great to rejuvenate and energise your body but also ward off various diseases, including cancer, dementia, anxiety and depression. 

Sleep has many benefits. Yet, sleeplessness has become an urban disorder, with most people sleeping for less than 5 or 6 hours a day and others waking up at night frequently. According to research, up to 35.5% of Americans wake up at least three nights per week while about 23% report waking up at least once every night. Another study in India revealed that 72% of Indians are waking up one to three times per night and 87% of them say lack of sleep is affecting health.

But what’s causing you to wake up in the middle of the night or much before you plan to? Here are some common reasons that may disturb your sleep cycle, followed by some simple suggestions to ensure undisturbed sleep.

1. Your Room is Too Bright, Noisy or Cold

When you sleep at night, you pass through various cycles of sleep which also determines your sleep arousal threshold. In the initial stages of sleep, it is the easiest for you to wake up, which means any noise from a passing car, bright lights, room temperature, etc., can easily impede your sleep quality and wake you up. To prevent this from happening, set your room temperature to a comfortable level, use heavy curtains to block external lights and sounds, use earplugs and eye pads – whatever sails your boat to prevent you from getting disturbed.

2. Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult for your brain to switch down and get to sleep. Even if you manage to fall asleep, anxiety can make you wake up in the middle of the night and give you trouble falling back to sleep. 

If you find yourself waking up before your ideal wake-up time regularly and cannot get back to sleep, it may be a sign of depression, and we recommend that you consult a therapist as soon as possible. You may also try some relaxation techniques at home to soothe your anxiety and help your mind ease into restful sleep such as breathing exercises, meditation, playing calming music, taking a warm bath with essential oils, and reducing your chores to relieve your day-to-day stress. 

3. Frequent Visits to the Toilet

Many people feel the urge to urinate at night, which can lead to disturbed sleep or waking up earlier than needed. Some people, however, can overcome this issue by reducing their liquid intake at night. But if that doesn’t help, frequent urination at night can be a sign of a more severe underlying condition, like diabetes, overactive bladder or enlarged prostrate and it is essential to meet your doctor to diagnose the issue properly, and in time. 

4. Excessive Screen Time 

According to research, increased screen time has been linked to insomnia and depression in teens. Today, as most of us spend time glued to our favourite screens, it has also become a habit to carry smartphones and tabs to bed and continue scrolling posts on social media until one falls asleep. Unfortunately, the blue light emitted by cell phone and computer screens interferes with melatonin, the hormone that controls the circadian rhythm or the sleep cycle, making it hard to fall or stay asleep at night.

To prevent such a situation, limit your screen and shut down all devices at least one hour before you hit the bed at night. Also, refrain from working on your laptop in your bedroom and use it exclusively as your sleep sanctuary. 

5. Uncomfortable Bedding

The right mattress and pillow can make all the difference in your sleep quality. If your pillow is too thick or thin, or too soft or lumpy, it will bring down your sleep quality and also lead to long-term orthopaedic issues. Besides, regular pillows may not absorb sweat properly at night, leading to dampness that can make you uncomfortable at night. A memory foam pillow infused with cooling gel maintains airflow to regulate the body temperature for comfortable sleep, all night long.

The Bottomline

As we mentioned before, good quality sleep is integral to maintaining your health. That’s why it’s important to not take your sleep lightly. Follow these simple tips, such as relaxing your mind in the evening, switching off all your gadgets an hour before sleeping and choosing comfortable bedding to ensure continuous and restful sleep.

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